7 weird museums to tickle your wacky, curious side
SEP 15, 2016 | By Nupur Ashok Sarvaiya
Think of a museum and you’ll innately conjure up images of Renaissance paintings and surreal artifacts from Indus Valley Civilization. But distortedly we began wondering if any weird museums existed around the world and interestingly, we found a few too many.
From the most intriguing to the most “filthy”, we lined up these seven museums dedicated to embrace your curious, wacky side.
1. Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi, India
“Loos” yourself in history at this museum devoted to all things toilets and sanitation! Easily one of the weirdest museums in the world, it exhibits a vast collection of toilets, commodes and bidets that have been curated to document the history of sanitation from 1145 AD to date. Everything from King Louis XIV’s personal “throne”, Victorian toilets with floral design to a modern day portable toilet in a tent is on display here. We love how the walls are covered in toilet jokes and parodies and the pot from French Royalty in the 1700’s that mocked the English by being designed as a stack of classic literature.
2. Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
The romantics will feel right at home here. Just like its name, this exhibition revolves around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins. Conceptualised in Croatia by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, it displays a huge collection of crowd-sourced items such as old perfume bottles, axes, clothes, teddies to name a few, with a description next to it by its donor, revealing how it became infused with meaning over the course of first dates, new love, relationship, marriage, breakup or recovery (or not). Some of the stories are wistful, others a punch to the gut.
3. Hair Museum, Avanos, Turkey
Locks of women’s hair adorn the walls of a cave centre in the small town of Avanos, Turkey with a surprisingly touching origin. Legend goes that a local potter was bidding adieu to a dear friend when he asked for something to remember her by. She cut off a piece of her hair to leave as a reminder. He put this lock in his shop and through the years as he narrated this story to other patrons, they left a souvenirs for him as well. Started in 1979, the museum hold estimated 16,000 locks of hair with a piece of personal item like a note, pen or pencil attached to the tresses. The best part? You’re allowed to donate your hair too.
4. Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Ikeda-Shi, Osaka, Japan
Oodles and oodles of noodles! That simply sums up what this museum showcases. Instant Noodles Tunnel exhibit displays the instant noodles lineup that started with Chicken Ramen. Approximately 800 product packages shows how a single product introduced more than a half-century ago grew into a global dietary culture. We think their instant ramen workshop that allows visitors to make their own “fresh” instant noodles (fresh as in just made) is a must-experience attraction here.
5. Museum of Bad Art, Boston, USA
Why fly to Paris to see the Mona Lisa, when there’s a perfectly fine copy at the Museum of Bad Art in Boston? Case in point: “Mana Lisa” by Andrea Schmidt of Vancouver, oil on canvas and donated by the artist, January 2002. The pieces in the MOBA collection range from the work of talented artists that have gone awry to works of exuberant, although crude, execution by artists barely in control of the brush. What they all have in common is a special quality that sets them apart in one way or another from the merely incompetent. But this one will surely let you wonder whether it is true that one man’s trash is other man’s treasure.
6. International Spy Museum Washington D.C., USA
Listen up James Bond aficionados, this museum is worth paying for! It features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. These artifacts illuminate the work of famous spies and pivotal espionage actions as well as help bring to life the strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secretive espionage missions in world history. The highlight? It gives you a ticket to a Live action spy adventure. Only you’re the spy. A one-hour, adrenaline-fueled mission is no exhibit.
7. Cancun Underwater Museum, Cancun, Mexico
Weird or fascinating? We’ll let you be the judge of that. Found in the picturesque waters of the Mexican Caribbean, this underwater sculpture museum was a collaboration between artist Jason deCaires Taylor and the National Marine Park and isn’t for the hydrophobes. There are over 500 life-size structures you can swim through. Here’s a tip for all you water babies, company AquaWorld Cancún offers the best Snorkel in the Museum tour.
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